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Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

These pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies are buttery, crisp and full of flavour! The cranberries add sweetness and give the cookies a slightly chewy texture while the pistachios add a little nutty crunch. They are the perfect cookie to celebrate the holidays, for cookie exchanges and to share with friends.  

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

The holiday season is here which means it’s time to fire up the oven and get baking! Buttery shortbread cookies are a classic when it comes to the holidays and these pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies are not only beautiful but add a little extra sparkle to your holiday cookie tray!

This is a great recipe to make ahead as shortbread has a longer shelf life than other cookies and freezes well. Bonus, this leaves you more free time to enjoy the holidays! The recipe also makes a lot, perfect for sharing or cookie exchanges.

Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

Ingredients

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make these buttery, crisp Christmas cookies! Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned baker, this easy recipe promises great results and a longer storage life, ensuring you can enjoy them throughout the holiday season. You can find your pistachio nuts and dried cranberries at your local Bulk Barn store where you can buy as little or as much as you like!

Variations

I love making these pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies in tart pans as it adds a new dimension to shortbread cookies and the fluted edges look so sweet. But keep in mind your tart pan should be on the smaller size, 7-8 inches. You can try different tart pan shapes as well, like a narrow, long rectangular tart pan and then cut the shortbread cookies into rectangles.

You can also slice and bake the cookies if you don’t have a tart pan. Simply roll the dough into a log, wrap it in parchment paper or wax paper and refrigerate until the log is nice and firm. Once the cookie log is firm, use a sharp knife to slice 1/2 inch coins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Add fresh orange zest to make orange shortbread cookies that are filled with pistachios and cranberries! Orange flavour pairs lovely with cranberry.

Add mini white chocolate chips for extra sweetness.

Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

Tips to Make the Perfect Shortbread

  1. Make sure your butter is at room temperature before mixing. Having the right consistency for mixing the butter is key for the perfect texture. Never melt your butter in the microwave to speed up the process. Try grating the butter to speed things up.
  2. Use a kitchen scale to divide your dough into equal portions. This will ensure even baking with both tarts.
  3. It’s key to chop the pistachios and dried cranberries into small pieces. This creates a nice texture in the cookie but will also make it easier to slice the tart into individual pieces.
  4. Make sure your cookie dough is cold/firm before baking! You want the fat (butter) on the firmer side for the best results.
  5. Use a chopstick or something long, sturdy and straight to help score straight lines into your shortbread tart.
  6. To cut the shortbread into wedges, make sure you use a large sharp knife and cut the tart while it’s still slightly warm. Take your time, be gentle and go slowly when slicing.

More Cranberry Recipes

If you love baking with sweet, tart cranberries, especially during the holiday season then here are a few of my top recipes using dried or fresh cranberries.

  1. White Chocolate Cranberry Tart
  2. Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Buns
  3. Overnight Cranberry French Toast
  4. Dark Chocolate Cranberry Muffins
Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

How To Make Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

Step One: Prep your pistachio nuts and cranberries. Make your cookie dough using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer).

Step Two: Evenly divide the dough in half (if you have a kitchen scale use it). Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough into your tart pans. Make sure the top is even and flat. Then place the shortbread tarts into the refrigerator until firm.

Step Three: Once firm score 16 slices into the top of each tart. I used a chopstick to make even, straight lines. Then use a fork and prick each triangle a few times and sprinkle a good amount of coarse sugar on the top of each tart.

Step Four: Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then carefully remove the tart pans. Gently cut the tart following the scored lines. Then place the shortbread cookies back on the cooling rack to cool completely.

Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread
Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

Merry Christmas friends and happy baking!

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Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread

These pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies are buttery, crisp and full of flavour! The cranberries add sweetness and give the cookies a slightly chewy texture while the pistachios add a little nutty crunch. They are the perfect cookie to celebrate the holidays, for cookie exchanges and to share with friends.  

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 32 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • coarse sugar for decorating

Instructions

  1. Set out two 7-8 inch tart pans with removable bottoms.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined.
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add flour to the butter mixture, turn the speed up and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add chopped pistachios and chopped cranberries to the dough and mix to combine.
  5. Divide the dough evenly in half. Place each half into one of the tart pans. Using the palm of your hand flatten the dough to fill the tart pan. Do your best to make the top smooth and flat.
  6. Place the shortbread into the refrigerator to firm up, approx. 30-45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
  8. Once firm use a sharp knife to score the tops of the shortbread into 16 pieces. I used a chopstick to help create straight lines.
  9. Then use a small fork to poke the tops of each triangle, approx. 3 or 4 times. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
  10. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let the shortbread tart cool on a cooling rack for 5-8 minutes, then remove the tart pan. Using a long sharp knife, cut through the score lines making sure to clean the knife before each cut. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack until completely cool.

Notes

Store at room temperature in a tin or an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 of 32
  • Calories: 74
  • Sugar: 3.6g
  • Sodium: 25mg
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 5.3g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg

Keywords: Cranberry, Pistachio, Shortbread, Christmas, Holiday, Cookies

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

Can I add icing to pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies for extra flavour?

These cookies are delicious as is, but you can get creative with some icing. It will add sweetness to the shortbread as well. A simple drizzle of white chocolate or a light glaze (icing sugar and hot water) with a hint of orange or lemon zest can add a beautiful touch to these already pretty cookies.

Can I make the dough up and bake the shortbread cookies later?

Yes, you can make the dough for pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies in advance and refrigerate or freeze it. You can add the dough to your tart pans or shape the dough into logs, wrap them in plastic wrap, and store in an airtight container or resealable bag. When ready to bake, slice the dough into rounds and follow the original recipe’s baking instructions. This allows you to have freshly baked cookies on hand whenever needed, making it a convenient and time-saving approach, especially during the busy holiday season.

Is it better to use unsalted butter or salted butter for shortbread cookies?

It’s best to use unsalted butter for shortbread cookies. This allows for better control over the amount of salt in the recipe. If you use salted butter, it can be challenging to predict the exact ‘saltiness’ of the cookies since different brands of butter have varying levels of salt. Using unsalted butter and adding salt to the recipe keeps you in control of the levels. A pinch of salt in the dough enhances the flavour of the cookies without making them overly salty.

This blog post has been sponsored by Bulk Barn Canada where you can find all your baking needs! All opinions are my own and I’m so happy to work with brands I love so I can continue to share these recipes with all of you! I hope you guys get to a Bulk Barn soon and try out this recipe.

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Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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